Here’s Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) wailing about the threat posed by the deficit:
It is imperative that we address the unsustainable growth in entitlement spending and debt service, which is now eating up the entirety of government revenue. If we fail to address those facts we will be facing a total economic meltdown. …
Here’s Senator Roy Blunt doing his wooden imitation of someone wailing abut the threat posed by the deficit:
I believe we’re facing an historic crossroads in our nation’s long-term financial health. Voters sent a clear message last fall that they expect us to make the tough choices to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending, and they expect us to do it now.
Keeping in mind that both of these gentlemen were members of Congress during the Bush years, take a careful look at the chart below (from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) which outlines the individual drivers of the federal debt:
Let’s see – great big parts of the debt seem to be due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although the Bush tax cuts are undoubtedly the biggest contributor. Both of these expensive exercises, may I remind you, were heartily endorsed by Messrs. Akin and Blunt during their years in the GOP ascendancy. The other big piece of deficit pie seems to be the decline in revenue that resulted from the economy going smash. This event, as I am sure you remember, came about as a result of the mismanagement practiced by the regulation averse Bush administration, aided and abetted by a GOP congress heavily in hock to corporate interests that wanted to keep on playing without adult supervision. TARP and the stimulus (labeled “recovery measures” in the chart), favorite targets of GOPers like Akin and Blunt, were small potatoes in the deficit pantry.
Tell me now, how do these folks who time and time again voted to raise the debt ceiling for Mr. Bush, justify sanctimonious little diatribes like those above? Or, envision putting all our economic welfare on the line in order to play politics with the debt ceiling when it’s the Democratic Mr. Obama in the White House? Of course, I already know the answer. As Jonathan Capehart said today in reference to the graph above, memories are, lamentably, short, which, I would add, means that con artists like Akin, Blunt and their ilk seem to be able to get away with just about any made-up story they want to tell.